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Shareholding cascades: the separation of ownership and control in Belgium

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  • Ariane Chapelle
  • Marco Becht
  • Luc Renneboog

Abstract

This paper analyses the control of Belgian listed companies. The analysis reveals that control of listed companies in Belgium is highly concentrated. Business groups, holding companies, and voting pacts, play an important role in bringing about this concentration. The main characteristics of the Belgian corporate ownership and equity market can be summarised as follows : (i) few - merely 140 - Belgian companies are listed on the Brussels stock exchange, (ii) there is a high degree of ownership concentration with an average largest direct shareholding of 45%, (iii)holding companies and families, and to a lesser extent industrial companies, are the main investor categories whose share stakes are concentrated into powerful control blocks through business group structures and voting pacts, (iv) control is levered by pyramidal and complex ownership structures and (v) there is a market for share stakes.
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Suggested Citation

  • Ariane Chapelle & Marco Becht & Luc Renneboog, 2001. "Shareholding cascades: the separation of ownership and control in Belgium," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9947, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/9947
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    Cited by:

    1. Ariane Chapelle, 2004. "Separation between ownership and control: where do we stand?," Working Papers CEB 04-018.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Randall Morck & Michael Percy & Gloria Tian & Bernard Yeung, 2005. "The Rise and Fall of the Widely Held Firm: A History of Corporate Ownership in Canada," NBER Chapters,in: A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers, pages 65-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. BEUSELINCK, Christof & DELOOF, Marc, "undated". "Bussiness groups, taxes and accruals management," Working Papers 2006015, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    4. Chapelle, Ariane & Szafarz, Ariane, 2005. "Controlling firms through the majority voting rule," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 355(2), pages 509-529.
    5. Köhler, Matthias, 2008. "Blockholdings and Corporate Governance in the EU Banking Sector," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-110, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Johan Devriese & Mathias Dewatripont & Dirk Heremans & Grégory Nguyen, 2004. "Corporate governance, regulation and supervision of banks," Financial Stability Review, National Bank of Belgium, vol. 2(1), pages 95-120, June.
    7. Buysschaert, An & Deloof, Marc & Jegers, Marc, 2004. "Equity sales in Belgian corporate groups: expropriation of minority shareholders? A clinical study," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 81-103, January.
    8. ROMMENS, An & CUYVERS, Ludo & DELOOF, Marc, 2007. "Interlocking directorates and business groups: Belgian evidence," Working Papers 2007023, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    9. Otten, J.A. & Heugens, P.P.M.A.R., 2007. "Extending the Managerial Power Theory of Executive Pay: A Cross National Test," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2007-090-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    10. Köhler, Matthias, 2009. "Blockholdings and corporate governance in the EU banking sector," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-110 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Beuselinck, Christof & Deloof, Marc, 2014. "Earnings Management in Business Groups: Tax Incentives or Expropriation Concealment?," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 27-52.
    12. Becht, Marco, 1999. "European corporate governance: Trading off liquidity against control," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1071-1083, April.
    13. Becht, Marco & Roell, Ailsa, 1999. "Blockholdings in Europe:: An international comparison1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1049-1056, April.
    14. Beuselinck, C.A.C. & Deloof, M., 2006. "Business Groups, Taxes and Accruals Management," Discussion Paper 2006-46, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    15. Renée Adams & Daniel Ferreira, 2008. "One Share-One Vote: The Empirical Evidence," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(1), pages 51-91.
    16. Plamen Tchipev, 2003. "Ownership Structure and Corporate Control in Bulgaria," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 7, pages 132-146.
    17. Matthias Köhler, 2012. "Ownership structure, regulation and the market for corporate control in the EU banking sector," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 173-196, August.
    18. Abdallah, Wissam & Goergen, Marc, 2008. "Does corporate control determine the cross-listing location?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 183-199, June.
    19. Crama, Y. & Leruth, L. & Renneboog, L.D.R., 2003. "Corporate control concentration measurement and firm performance," Discussion Paper 17, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    20. Ariane Chapelle, 2004. "Block investments and the race for corporate control in Belgium," Working Papers CEB 04-019.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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